1863_The Last Times - Joseph A. Seiss.pdf

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The Last Times And The Great Consummation
LAST TIMES
AN EARNEST DISCUSSION OF MOMENTOUS THEMES.
JOSEPH A. SEISS, D.D.
AWT110. 0.
'm IN ~0118~
BBYIIIED AND EIPLAEBED EDIROR.
PHILADELPHIA:
SMITH, ENGLISH & CO., 23 NORTH SIXTH ST.
NEW YORK: BLAKEYAN & MASON. BOSTON: QOULD & LINCOLN.
CINCINNATI: QEO. 8. BLANCHARD.
LONDON: WERTHEIM, McINTOSH & WNT.
TOBONTO: W. C. CHEWETT L 00.
1863. .
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My ddsterminaHon with mywU iq to follow neither men nor thtbeir ~onr,
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JOSEPH A. 8EI88,
in the qerk'm Omce of the DMct Cart of the United 8tUer for the Eslttrn
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THIB book treata of the future destiny of the world and its
population, aa revealed in ,the holy prophecies. It waa first
published in 1856, since which time several editions and re-
publications of it have appeared. It waa originally designed
to bear tmtimony against certain erroneous opinions exten-
sively afloat in the popular mind, and to awaken attention to
a subject too little appreciated and too much neglected by
modern professore of Christianity. The favor with which it
has met, and the blessing of God which has so largely attended
it in many directions, together with the increased ominousness
of ou; times, and the pressing importance of a right knowledge
of what is coming upon the earth, have induced the author to
revise, enlarge, and reissue it, and to enteiinto arrangements
to bring it, in its revised form, silnultaneously before the read-
ing public of England, Canada, and the United States.
The views which it presents are somewhat in conflict with
prevailing impressions and current opinions and prejudices;
, but they are the writer's honest convictions, produced by
faithful st,udy, and uttered under a full sense of the responsi-
bility involved. They are also believed to be entitled to sober,
candid, and careful consideration. They certainly have the
aanction of high authorities, both ancient and modern, and
8
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PBEEACE.
are more and more commanding the belief of devout men of
earnest hearts and eloquent tongues in ail sections of the
Church of Christ.
A few exceptions have been taken to former editions of this
book. Its spirit was thought too positive, dogmatical, and
severe. This criticism was not felt to be just. Strong, bold
language was indeed employed; for it would be useless to think
of making an impression in any other way; but as to dogma-
tical proscriptiveness, or disrespect to those entertaining differ-
ent opinions, nothing was further from the author's feelings,
or from the design of his book. Nevertheless, the revision
has removed some passages, and modified others, which, per-
haps, were liable to misconstruction in these particulars. If
H
any thing remains which might reasonably disturb the most
kindly feelings and relations with those who see things in a
different light, the author is not conscious of it, and does not
so intend it.
Ithas also been thought by some, that the book gave too
unfavorable a picture of the present condition of the world,-
that the moral and- spiritual state of things now is not worse,
but bette?, than in former periods. Seven years of additional
study and observation, however, have only deepened the
writer's belief in the truthfulness of the representations he has
given. The difference between him and his critics, upon this
point, may also, after all, be more apparent than real. The
' truth is, that the world is both better and worse than at any
time since the days of the Apostles, and that it will continue
to become better and worse until the "end." As the light in-
oreases, the shadows deepen. There is upon earth a kingdom
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of evil, and a kingdom of good ; and both are expansive and
growing. This is distinctly taught in the parable of theWheat
and the Tares. The great Lord of the field has said, "LET
BOTH GROW TOGETHER UNTIL THE HARVEST; THE HARVEST
IB THE END OF THE WORLD." Hence, Christ and Antichrisb,
holineas and iniquity, good and bad, are side by side, each
advancing, the conflict between them increasing in intensity,
the severeat being the lnet, when the Lord of the harvest shall
mewith his reapers and make the everlasting separation.
"The path of the just is as the shining light, that shineth
mre and more unto the perfect day," (Prov. iv. 18;) and
yet "Evil men and seducers shall wax worse and worse, de-
ceiving and being deceived." (2 Tim. iii. 13.)
The enlargements in this edition are considerable, amount-
ing in all to more than one hundred pages. Some portions
have been entirely rewritten. Notes have been added, to
explain or further support the original text, and to bring up
the work to the author's increased understanding of many
important points. Pains have been taken and mnoh labor
bestowed to present a full analysis of Scripture References on
the entire subject, and to give a full exhibit of the literature
of the eame from the days of the Apostles to the present. A
complete Index to every thing important contained in the
work has also been appended; all of which muat materially
enhance its value.
To appreciate this book as an argument for the system of
doctrines concerning the future which it gives, it will be
neoessary to read all of it, and in the order irrwhich it is pre
tented. Ita forcd is cumulative. Eaoh part entere into.the
I*
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